January can be a tough month. Christmas is but a distant memory, the cold temperatures are really starting to bite and the bright and breezy springtime seems a long, long way off.
Still, there is always something to look forward to, even at this tricky time of the year. One thing we can always rely on to improve our spirits is a good plate of food, so here are a few recipes featuring some seasonal ingredients guaranteed to warm your cockles this January:
Roast cod and winter vegetable ratatouille
There’s nothing not to love about ratatouille; it’s cheap, easy to make and really flexible, with plenty of opportunity to experiment by throwing all sorts of warming winter ingredients into the pot.
One particularly mouth-watering option is this combination of winter vegetable ratatouille and roast cod from Great British Chefs.
The recipe was designed by Galton Blackiston, who went from selling homemade cakes and biscuits on a market stall in Rye to becoming a Michelin-starred chef. It recommends combining roast cod fillet with a swede, parsnip, carrot, beetroot and butternut squash ratatouille and covering the whole lot in a delicious lemon beurre blanc sauce.
Sounds like winter food heaven.
Good old soup. It’s pretty much impossible to beat if you’re looking for something hearty and filling to warm you up when you come home on a cold January day.
This winter, why not have a go at making a homemade soup featuring what BBC Good Food calls “the unsung hero of the vegetable world”? Celeriac is a variety of celery grown for its edible roots, with an appearance – large, uneven and knobbly, with gnarled, fairly unsightly roots – that doesn’t instantly scream “eat me”.
Get past that, though, and it can be a lovely addition to a winter meal, offering a mild, celery-like flavour with hints of nuttiness. Plus it’s low in calories and full of good stuff like vitamin C, vitamin B6 and fibre.
If you’re curious to give celeriac a go but not sure of where to start, try out this soup recipe from Delicious Everyday, which combines the underrated vegetable with some other ingredients you’re probably more familiar with, like potatoes, leeks, onions and garlic.
Beetroot and cumin fritters with horseradish and dill yoghurt
Beetroot is another fantastic winter vegetable, with an earthy, rich flavour that goes down well when the weather outside leaves something to be desired.
Like most veg, it’s super-duper good for you, offering plenty of folic acid, fibre, protein and other nutritional benefits. It’s also thought to have detoxifying properties. Bonus!
If you’re looking for a fun and unusual way to use beetroot, The Happy Foodie recommends a recipe for beetroot and cumin fritters with horseradish and dill yoghurt, originally taken from the vegan cookbook Peace and Parsnips by Lee Watson.
This one is sure to look and taste as good as it sounds. Combine the core ingredients with added extras like mint leaves, lemon zest, sea salt and ground black pepper in your Veggie Pan for a colourful and delectable winter feast.
Sauteed parsnips with dates and spiced yoghurt
The parsnip: a humble vegetable, but one that tastes great and can be incorporated into all sorts of dishes, from soups to pastas to a good old Sunday roast.
You’ve had parsnips before, of course, but have you ever had them sauteed and combined with dates and spiced yoghurt, as recommended by Delish? The inspiration for this recipe came from Moro, a restaurant in London.
Use your ActiFry to brown the parsnips before roasting them with the dates, which caramelise in the oven to infuse the whole thing with drool-inducing flavours.
Greek yoghurt, lemon juice and sumac can be combined for a beautiful accompaniment to this warming winter dish.
There are many, many other ways to get more parsnip in your life. Chardonnay-braised chicken thighs with parsnips and shallots on the side sounds unspeakably good, as does this Mitch Earl recipe for parsnip soup infused with garlic, onion and butter, with the option of smoked lardons and pesto to serve.
With wonderful winter food like this on the menu, January is sure to fly by and spring will be here before you know it.